See it, move it, shape it: building kids’ eye-hand coordination

Some of the hardest “work” of early childhood is simply getting all the senses and muscles pulling together, as little ones learn how to make and connect the symbols that surround them. Basically, eye-hand coordination plays a big role in most  milestones.


A post to LiveStrong.com describes eye-hand coordination as “a fine motor skill that develops in a series of stages from birth to about 7 years of age.”

School-based occupational therapist Mindy Buckner, MS, OTR, has a website called Therapy Street for Kids, offering ideas for parents of kids with delays or impairments. She provides a succinct definition that applies to all kids, including those progressing right on schedule: “Eye-hand coordination affects our ability to color, draw basic strokes and pictures, solve mazes and dot-to-dot pictures, write by hand, catch a ball, bat a ball, created art, put a puzzle together, tie our shoes, build with blocks, thread a needle and use scissors to name a few.”

Like virtually anything else, eye-hand coordination can be improved through practicing repetitive activities. One of the biggest benefits of apps and e-games for toddlers and preschoolers is the opportunity to do just that.

For example, making lines of all kinds is a first step toward writing, and an app such as Train Your Hand, available in both Android and iOS formats, makes it fun. Extra wide pathways for following a variety of patterns with just one finger help preschoolers build confidence. They develop the fine motor skills they need to write as they stretch their imaginations.

Apps are great, but “paper” activities that help eyes and hands work together to improve readiness skills such as pre-writing, tracing, cutting things out, comparing, and identifying shapes and colors remain immensely valuable. Workbooks such as those in the Train Your Hand series that feature Tiptoe, a charming purple cat,  guide preschoolers through adventures in counting, tracing, alphabet, and drawing adventures. The easy-to-grab, Tiptoe kitty cut-out on the top edge of the front covers make the books fun to tote around, and the contents give eye-hand coordination a hefty workout.

Another skill book series showcases Bubble, a friendly sticker character, who helps preschoolers learn about sizes and colors, counting, matching, same and different, and more, while also building eye-hand coordination and other fine motor skills.

Preschool Practice Scissor Skills offers a variety of exercises and more than 80 clipping and pasting exercises that will help children practice scissor skills and other important basics such as story order, counting, matching, and beginning sounds.

Get kids making connections and developing important skills through activities that simply feel like playtime.